The Importance Of Tracking Your Moles
Most people have at least a few skin freckles or moles; while others may have dozens or more. Although moles are common and part of our body’s normal anatomy, there are some instances when moles can change and become pre-cancerous or cancerous. Ignoring or overlooking cancerous moles can have serious, even deadly, consequences. Therefore, keeping up with the status of your skin’s health is critical to your overall well being.
Below are three ways you can track your moles and help ensure any suspicious developments are addressed by your dermatologist as soon as possible.
Perform Regular Skin Self-Examinations
“One key to tracking your moles and overall health of your skin is to perform regular skin self-examinations,” states Gilbert Saenz III, certified physician assistant at Sanova Dermatology. Begin by facing a bathroom or full-length mirror and make a slow, visual scan of your body from the forehead down to your pelvis.
Next, sit down and examine the front of your arms, legs, feet and groin area. While sitting, use a hand mirror to look at the backside of your arms and legs as well as the insides of your thighs.
Next, stand up and face away from the bathroom or full-length mirror, and use a hand mirror to examine your back. Comb through your hair or use a blow dryer to part the hair and examine your scalp as best you can. Asking a partner or significant other can help you evaluate some of these hard to see areas and increase your ability to find any suspicious looking lesion that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.
Use a Mole Map to Track Changes
“Once you complete the skin self-examination, you should use a mole map to mark mole locations and to keep relevant notes,” Gilbert says. This will help you keep up with the overall status of your moles and help you catch changes if they occur. Blank mole maps are available online or ask your dermatologist about acquiring one.
Regularly Visit Your Dermatologist
The last step in monitoring for problem moles is to regularly visit your dermatologist for skin examinations. “Your dermatologist has trained eyes and can often quickly spot a precancerous or cancerous mole,” explains Gilbert. In addition, your dermatologist will provide education about moles and help you know what to do if you notice any changes.
Sanova Dermatology is here to help with your questions or concerns about moles, as well as all other skin-related issues. Contact us today for an appointment and consultation.